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UNC Research Responds to COVID-19 (Updated 6/4/2021)

The University is actively managing the impact of COVID-19 on our community. UNC’s research labs and facilities remain open and operating, with appropriate safety measures in place.

For more information on the University’s response to COVID-19, the Carolina Together Testing Program, and our COVID-19 Community Standards, please visit CarolinaTogether.unc.edu.

New Research Guidelines Effective June 1

Some restrictions are being lifted. Others will remain in place.

COVID-19 Research Participation Opportunities

  • Research for Me
    • Hosted by the NC TraCS Institute, Research for Me’s COVID-19 projects page lists study opportunities for potential participants. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are frontline healthcare workers, or wish to help researchers better understand the pandemic’s impact can find a meaningful ways to participate in research happening at UNC and UNC Health.

Key Takeaways for UNC Researchers

  • Research operations in facilities and labs on campus are operational. Guidelines are available here.
  • The research deans of individual schools and the College of Arts & Sciences have responsibility for deciding how their units’ research operations will be managed, consistent with University guidelines and other measures to ensure safety.
  • The OVCR’s research support offices remain fully operational continue to provide full support to the research enterprise.
  • UNC researchers must follow specific guidelines while working on campus, including monitoring health and reporting onset of symptoms, wearing University-approved face masks inside facilities, and adhering to specified sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • There are two COVID-19 trainings offered by UNC Environment, Health and Safety: COVID-19 Positive Process and Protecting the Carolina Community from COVID-19. They can both be accessed through the COVID-19: Carolina Campus Training page.
  • Human subjects research that requires participant contact should adhere to these guidelines.
  • The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) has maintained its care and support for research animals throughout the period of the pandemic and has provided guidance on working in animal labs and facilities. When working in animal facilities, coordinate with the DCM staff to maintain appropriate distancing and other safety procedures.
  • The Office of Human Research Ethics and the Office of Animal Care and Use are receiving and reviewing protocols normally and board meetings are proceeding on schedule.
  • COVID-19 restrictions on university related domestic travel previously issued by the UNC System Office are rescinded. Students and employees should continue to follow the latest CDC guidance on domestic travel. Because the severity of COVID-19 conditions still vary internationally, foreign travel remains restricted. Exceptions for international travel may be granted only by the Chancellor or Provost, as detailed on UNC Global’s website.
  • Information on changes to University parking policies and public transit can be found at the University Transportation & Parking website.
  • NIHNSF, and DoD have released guidance permitting flexibility during the COVID-19 situation. Specifically, NIH permits salaries to continue to be charged to grants even if there is a work stoppage caused by the pandemic. NIH and other agencies permit travel costs to be charged if the travel was disrupted by COVID-19 and those costs cannot be refunded.
  • Specific questions about research operations during the outbreak should be directed to staff in the relevant research administration offices. These offices are open and continue to serve our researchers.

 

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active COVID-19 research projects at the university (UNC community only; log in with your onyen before searching.).

Browse projects by category

As specific guidance from funding agencies is developed, this list will be updated.

COGR Resources

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Department of Defense (DoD)

Department of Energy (DoE)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Council on Governmental Regulations (COGR)

The Office of Human Research Ethics and Office of Clinical Trials are open and able to support researchers at UNC.

Clinical research that provides an immediate benefit for the health and well-being of a participant should continue; however, going forward, this work will be subject to guidance and direction from UNC Health. The UNC Health coronavirus websiteshould be consulted for direction regarding such research.

The COI Program is open and its staff continue to support researchers at UNC.

The individual COI Committees will meet remotely as needed and the COI Chairs continue to assess the expedited reviews. Reports or certifications to sponsors such as organizational COI or FCOI reports are continuing to be processed and submitted as needed.

COVID-19 FAQs for this office are under development based on inquires being received from the research community.

FAQs for faculty and staff on human resources issues during the COVID-19 outbreak are being provided through the UNC Office of Human Resources.